New signing at PAOK Saloniki of Greece, Anderson Esiti has given thanks to God for making the deal possible, and says he will work very hard to get the best out of the very lucrative contract with the Super League outfit that also has Chuba Akpom on their cards.
Esiti added that moving to PAOK is another step forward in his career, following previous stints in Portugal and Belgium, with a view that he could go on to get a recall to the Super Eagles once he does well at his new base and on the European continental terrain.
He acknowledged that having only two previous invitations to the Eagles is not good enough for his status, but reckons that his efforts with PAOK will only be a personal step that will still have to be appreciated by Nigeria’s coach, Gernot Rohr in order to make his recall realistic.
Esiti stated as much after he penned a four-year deal that will earn him about €900,000 a year, until the summer of 2023, which is double what he got at his former club, KAA Gent of Belgium, and the creative battler has already been granted jersey number 24 for the coming season.
The combative player could make his first appearance for PAOK when they clash with Fortuna Sittard of Holland in a pre-season friendly match on Saturday, in a game that could see Esiti line out alongside Nigerian-born former Arsenal forward, Akpom and Morocco’s Omar El Kaddouri.
Esiti, who started his career at Bobby United before switching to Leixoes of Portugal and then with their Primera Liga rivals, Estoril before moving to Gent, now also has a chance of playing in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds with PAOK.
The deal with PAOK comes after the Greek club initially attempted to sign him in the January transfer window but were unsuccessful in their plans for the highly-physical midfielder, who thrilled in three seasons at Gent, with 95 matches in all competitions for the club.
He, however, recalls that it was way back October 2016 that he last played for the Eagles, against Zambia in a World Cup qualifier, such that the 25-year-old central midfielder is angling for a return, as he believes he has top quality to offer Nigeria, yet admits he will have to do well this season in order to convince Rohr that he deserves an invitation.
The new arrival, who was close to agreeing on a deal with Levante of Spain during the winter, joined Gent from Estoril in 2016 for a fee of around €1.5m, after which he made over 90 appearances across all competitions, said he is grateful to God for helping him seal a new deal.
Esiti told allnigeriasoccer.com with an air of gratitude: ”I thank God for everything. I am really happy, it is a good move for me.
“It is something that I have been hoping for a very long time. In a football player’s life, you have to go up everyday.
“I’m really happy that I was able to make this step in my career. I will give my best here in Greece and also in European competitions.
”It is just to work hard here, my first objective is to have a good season here (then I can start thinking about the Super Eagles).
“Hopefully, I will be called back to the national team. I am always ready to put on that green and white jersey to represent my country.
”I believe the coach will see me when I play here so he’s the only one that can decide if he has to call me or not.”